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Soil test tender floated for proposed new bridge at Talla

Kolkata: The Public Works department (PWD) floated tender for soil test for the proposed new bridge at Talla. The notification was issued by the PWD on Thursday. The agency that gets the job will have to submit the report of soil test within 14 days from the date of starting work. This clearly indicates that the state government is in favour of pulling down the bridge.

Firhad Hakim, state Urban development and Municipal Affairs minister, will meet senior state government officials and their counterparts in the RITES on Friday to discuss the matter.

The PWD has started removing the tar top at Belgachia Bridge to reduce its weight. The flow of traffic along the bridge has gone up three times after a ban was imposed on plying heavy vehicles along Talla Bridge.

From September 27, plying of heavy vehicles along Talla Bridge was stopped after experts stated the plying of such vehicles along the bridge would be risky. They said the supporting columns of the bridge have become weak and accident can happen any time.

Senior PWD officials said most of the bridges around Kolkata were not repaired or maintained during the Left Front regime.

There are no simple solutions to the problems. It will take at least two years to construct the Talla Bridge and a comprehensive traffic management plan is required for these two years.

The state government started the examining the health of the bridges that are more than 50 years old. Traffic along Kalighat bridge was suspended for two days in August to examine strength of the column. The health of Durgapur bridge has also been examined. PWD officials said as the volume of traffic along all the old bridges in the city has gone up, examination of their health twice a year should be made mandatory.

If the supporting pillars of the bridges have become weak, immediate steps should be taken to begin repair work and the volume of traffic along them should be reduced.

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